Final Knights Knotes: Blake Smith
With the 2016 season in the books, check back weekly for a final look back at a Charlotte Knights player who stood out for the team during their third season at BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte.
BLAKE SMITH – 2016 Knights
3-1, 3.53 ERA, 1 save
(75 SO in 71.1 IP)
Blake Smith had a season to remember for the Charlotte Knights. The Modesto, CA native appeared in 39 games for the club out of their bullpen in 2016 and posted a 3-1 record with one save and a 3.53 ERA over 71.1 innings pitched.
Smith, 28, started 2016 as a member of the San Diego Padres after he was selected by the club from the Chicago White Sox in the Rule 5 Draft. Smith didn’t stick with the Padres organization and was returned to Chicago on March 27, 2016 after he did not make the Padres 25-man roster out of camp. That was good news for the White Sox.
Smith was assigned to the Charlotte Knights to begin the 2016 campaign — returning to the team after spending 24 games with the club in 2015. He posted a 1-2 record and a 3.30 ERA in 30.0 innings pitched with Charlotte in 2015.
This season, the former University of Cal-Berkeley product picked up right where he left off with the Knights. After finishing the 2015 season with seven consecutive scoreless appearances (10.0 IP), Smith did not allow a run in his first appearance of the 2016 season on April 7 at Durham (2.0 IP). He continued to stay sharp throughout the season.
In seven games in July, he did not allow a run (11.1 IP). In August, he posted a 1.23 ERA in eight games (14.2 IP).
Throughout the course of the 2016 season, Smith had scoreless streaks of nine games and eight games (finished the season with eight-straight scoreless appearances). In fact, he allowed just two runs over his final 33.0 innings pitched.
Smith was also a key contributor in the Charlotte community. For his efforts, Smith, along with his fellow Modesto, CA native, Terance Marin, each earned co-Community Service Awards for all of their support to the Community Relations department.
On September 6th, a day after the Charlotte Knights final game of the 2016 regular season, Smith had his contract purchased by the Chicago White Sox. Now, a member of Chicago’s 40-man roster, Smith will have a chance to show the fans in Chicago just what he is capable of doing. Fans in Charlotte already know.